The 2nd great awakening and transcendentalism

Download 59.19 Kb.
Size59.19 Kb.
1   2   3   4   5


          • In the first 30 years of American, citizens poured themselves into practical outlets and Americna writing was sneered and lampooned internationally

          • Much was plagiarized from Great Britain

          • After 1820 young American authors began to answer the call for authentic literature

          • Much was influenced by the arrival of Romanticism in America

            • Reaction against hyper-rational Enlightenment

            • Emphasized imagination over reason

            • Nature over civilization

            • Intuition over calculation

            • Self over society

            • Emotion, expression were core values

          • Washington Irving (1783 – 1859)

            • Born in NYC

            • First American writer to win international recognition

            • Knickerbocker’s History of New York

            • The Sketch Book

              • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

              • Rip Van Winkle

            • Creative, humorous, local flavor

          • James Fenimore Cooper (1789 – 1851)

            • Expelled from Yale

            • Married into wealthy family

            • Inspired to write by his wife

            • Many stories about Revolutionary Era

            • Contrasted wilderness with modern civ and intertwined with Native Americans

            • Last of the Mohicans (1826)


    • Golden Age of American literature

    • Began in New England in 1830’s

      • Rejected Locke empiricist theory – all knowledge comes to mind through senses

      • Truth “transcends” the senses, cannot be found by observation alone

      • Every person possesses an inner light

      • This inner light puts you in direct touch with God or the “Oversoul”

      • Did not have a precise definition

      • Upheld Individualism: in religion and social life

      • Self reliance, self culture, self discipline

    • Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)

      • Tall, slender, Bostonian

      • Trained as a Unitarian minister

      • He stressed self reliance, self improvement, self confidence, optimism, and freedom

      • In “The America Scholar” speech at Harvard in 1837 he urged American writers throw off European traditions and delve into rich American tales

      • Many of his essays started as lectures

      • Essays: Nature, Self-Reliance

    • Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)

      • Condemned a government that supported slavery

      • Refused to pay Mass. Poll tax and was jailed for a night

      • Walden: Or Life in the Woods(1854)

        • Records two years of simple life spent in a hut that he built on Walden Pond in Concord Mass

        • Favored quest for isolation in nature to get away from corruptions of society

        • Get rid of society wants to pursue truth

      • Influenced Gandhi and MLK

    • Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892)

      • From Brooklyn – more bold, confident, swagger

      • Leaves of Grass (1855)

        • Collection of poems

        • Gave divinity to nature and human body

        • Glorification of self
1   2   3   4   5

The database is protected by copyright © 2020
send message

    Main page